3 Jewelry Designers I Loved at LOOT

Last night I attended the opening affair for LOOT 2014, a retail jewelry sale that doubles as a fund-raiser for the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan. I was a guest of the Silver Promotion Service (one of the event sponsors), and the party aimed to let in a select few—familiar industry faces as well as loyal museum patrons—early to shop the offerings of 50 handpicked studio and art jewelry artists.

This type of jewelry is not always precious in material—I loved the felt artist Danielle Gori-Montanelli from Vermont for her lighthearted and colorful looks—nor does it always have wide appeal to many, like the chic, faceted silver and steel pieces with a unique navy-teal patina from David Choi in Chicago. But in a testament to the following that art jewelry maintains, a second-floor gallery space was positively packed with attendees. I muscled my way through the crowd, however, and left with a list of artists whose works I saw as possibilities for the fine-jewelry retailer to appreciate. These are not typical lines that you would see at a mainstream trade fair, but they have an irresistible look that could intrigue select clients.

Helen Noakes of Salisbury, England. Noakes’ work is made in resin and silver and often features miniature forms frozen inside. Her pieces are whimsical, like the pair of silver earrings that show penguins stuck inside clear resin (oh, the irony of a penguin stuck in ice!) or an orange tiger cast with colorful brush inside a ring imprinted “Easy Tiger” on top. Fun, inexpensive—retail prices start around $100—and unexpected, Noakes’ work will appeal to those with an ironic spirit.

Penguin earrings in silver and resin from Helen Noakes

Courtesy Helen Noakes

Vladimir Péter of Hungary. The hulking sterling figures in Péter’s small case stopped me in my tracks. He has a number of big birds in various styles and positions—wings spread and perched as if on a limb, among others—as well as geometric forms in generous weights of silver. In Europe, his company name is Wladis, and it is known for bold looks, which should place easily here in the states, too, considering America’s bigger-is-better mentality. 

silver cuff from Vladimir Péter of Hungary

Courtesy Vladimir Péter

Linda van Niekerk of Australia. The works of Van Niekerk are slender but striking in silver, anodized aluminum, faux tortoise shell, wood, and other materials. Her featherweight statement necklaces are just that—oversize conversation pieces that don’t weigh you down—while some of her earring styles are string bean–long and pine-needle thin. I love her minimalist look, which is a great fit for fashion now, as well as the baby version of Irene Apfel-like black eyeglasses she wears paired with a pixie cut.  

silver and faux tortoise shell necklace from Linda van Niekerk of Australia

Photo by Peter Whyte for Linda van Niekerk

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